Navy reservist, 80% VA rating returned, sent to "MRR", now what?

123go

Registered Member
#1
Hello all,

I served 5 years Navy AD and received honorable discharge 2017 as an O3. I joined a reserve unit after leaving AD and started drilling, but my VA rating came back 80%. Mostly mental health. At my annual physical this came to light and the doctor flagged me for MRR (medical retention review). Realizing I would be non-deployable I requested to transfer to IRR (inactive reserves). However, since I'm in "MRR" status, they cannot process me to IRR. I'm stuck.

Medical gave me a couple eval packets for a primary care doctor and also mental health doctor to fill out and return to my reserve unit. It seems similar to the C&P exam I had at VA. Since the VA is my primary health care provider, I'm hesitant to go through all this again and then have my VA rating changed somehow.

Now that I'm looking into this, it sounds like there is potential for the medical retirement since all the damage was done active duty.

Is anyone familiar with the MRR / PEB process reserve sided?
Am I actually a candidate to get a medical retirement since I'm now a reservist, or will I be putting myself through a ton of BS, potentially risking my VA rating, for nothing?

Thank you
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#2
1.) Not likely you are risking you VA rating.
2.) If you were rated 80% by the VA, then basically drilling for retirement points.
3.) You should try to request a MEB.
 

golfrnut

Registered Member
#3
#2 is not really the case. VA disability is prorated per day. You still receive drilling/mil pay also, you just can’t receive both on the same day. You do not have to elect one or the other.

No risk to your VA rating.

If a disability or more than onedisability rated unfit by the MEB board is service connected and equals 30% or more, you will be medically retired just as though you were medically retired on active duty.
 

123go

Registered Member
#4
#2 is not really the case. VA disability is prorated per day. You still receive drilling/mil pay also, you just can’t receive both on the same day. You do not have to elect one or the other.

No risk to your VA rating.

If a disability or more than onedisability rated unfit by the MEB board is service connected and equals 30% or more, you will be medically retired just as though you were medically retired on active duty.

I was only drilling because I wanted to serve still, not for money. So that’s why i went to switch IRR when I realized I was non deployable. I had no idea of this medical retirement from reserves until someone recently mentioned it.

Now I’m in non drilling status with the MRR pending.

I briefly pursued treatment at VA last year, but it is so cumbersome and never helpful I stopped. Now I can’t even get an appt at VA for these evals to get filled out.

I’m 70% MDD/Anxiety. Have had 0 improvement since leaving AD.

When evals go to MRR board, if found unfit I request PEB? Should I withdraw my pending IRR request?
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#5
One of the unfortunate issues when leaving active duty and joining the reserves is that you will essentially be presumed "fit for duty" when you join. In order for them to offer you a contract, you had to have been medically fit.

Since you filed for a VA claim after you joined the reserves, the position the reserves often takes is that the condition is not in the line of duty. You may find yourself fighting a uphill battle to get the LOD completed and a MEB initiated.

One thing that is positive, is the fact that you left active duty in 2017 and was found to have a disability right after leaving. Perhaps you should have been given a MEB prior to discharge and it was overlooked, not evaluated or not even considered? You may have a strong case to request a discharge upgrade through the board of corrections.
 

golfrnut

Registered Member
#6
If you are found unfit by the board, you would either be seperated or medically retired depending on the percentage, the request to go IRR will essentially be null and void.

There are two avenues I would personally take concerning the medical documentation. Ask the VA to be seen through the CHOICE program if they are not able to schedule you a visit in an ample amount of time (believe it’s 30 days) or if the milage to the closest facility is over 50 miles. Two, persue the unit putting you on MEDCON orders to be evaluated while on orders.
 

golfrnut

Registered Member
#7
One of the unfortunate issues when leaving active duty and joining the reserves is that you will essentially be presumed "fit for duty" when you join. In order for them to offer you a contract, you had to have been medically fit.

Since you filed for a VA claim after you joined the reserves, the position the reserves often takes is that the condition is not in the line of duty. You may find yourself fighting a uphill battle to get the LOD completed and a MEB initiated.

One thing that is positive, is the fact that you left active duty in 2017 and was found to have a disability right after leaving. Perhaps you should have been given a MEB prior to discharge and it was overlooked, not evaluated or not even considered? You may have a strong case to request a discharge upgrade through the board of corrections.
Have made the same transition he has and in somewhat of the same situation (AD literally lost MRI reports that should have probably initiated MEB over 10 years ago), the AFRES side won’t get much of a say. Even beibg AFRES currently, my package is headed to the active duty side of the house for processing. Can’t say all braches are the same in that regard, but that’s where mine is headed. No LOD also. Med records and VA disability already concluding “service connected” kind of makes that a bit trivial at this point.
 

123go

Registered Member
#9
I'm 80% SC, not sure why I would need a LOD letter? 3 years of mental health treatment AD. Direct to reserves. Every condition's on my separation physical, they rubber stamp those on the way out. I did VA C&P exam 2 weeks after leaving AD, everything disclosed there was consistent with my AD treatment records.

What happens is the reserve PHA (physical) asks if you have a VA rating and what it is. When I put 80%, the examiner started asking many questions and I was immediately tagged MRR.

VA is reluctant to do any paperwork, evals, anything related to the Reserve requests. I can't even get an appointment, they told me last week to drop the papers off, they will look at them.
 

golfrnut

Registered Member
#11
Provider would refer you to the dog, DAWG initiates MEB process.

Not surprised the VA would act that way. LOD/MEDCON orders might be the way to go. I personally would not come out of pocket for anything they want.
 

gsfowler

Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
#13
So it sounds like the MRR is the same as a MEB?
No, it is a step or two before referral to MEB. It is the Navy equivalent of the DAWG (Air Force term mentioned above). Here is an article that explains it, begins on page 3.

https://www.public.navy.mil/nrh/Publications/2011/maytnr11.pdf

The process of the Medical Retention Review (MRR) program is often misunderstood by Navy Reserve Sailors. In order to continue serving, every Sailor is required to be medically ready for deployment at any time. Navy Reserve Sailors are required to meet physical standards for retention in the Navy Reserve as set forth in the Manual of the Medical Department. The manual also states if a Reserve member develops a potential disqualifying medical condition, the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) commanding officer (CO) will place them in an MRR status. While in an MRR status, the NOSC CO may allow the member to continue to drill, transfer to the volunteer training unit (VTU), or grant authorized absences.

In order to complete the MRR process, the member provides all medical records related to the identified medical condition. It is important the medical records include current information and historical documentation if the condition is chronic or ongoing. The NOSC medical department representative assembles the documents and the COs non-medical assessment and forwards via the chain-of-command to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) qualifications and standards office. BUMED’s retention recommendation is then forwarded to the Medical Hold, Line of Duty and Physical Risk Classification Branch (PERS-95) at the Navy Personnel Command. PERS-95 will complete the final assignment of a physical risk classification (PRC). There are five PRCs that may be assigned:

PRC A is for members who have a minor medical condition and are fit to continue Naval service. The member is generally considered to be world-wide assignable (WWA).

PRC B is for members fit to continue Naval service but have a medical condition that may limit being WWA. PERS-95 policy dictates the member may not complete orders exceeding 30 days or go overseas without a waiver.

PRC C is for members in the Individual Ready Reserve with an identified medical condition documented during an annual muster which requires additional clarification if chosen for mobilization.

PRC 4 is for members who have a medical condition that may be disqualifying but additional information is required by BUMED or PERS-95 to make a determination. Navy Personnel Command will withhold final determination of the physical qualification for a maximum of one year pending submission of additional medical information. Members assigned this classification will normally be directed to transfer to the VTU and are not eligible for mobilization.

PRC 5 is for members who have a medical condition unfitting for continued Naval service. PERS-95 will direct the transfer of the member to the VTU pending final determination of the case. Members assigned this classification may accept involuntary discharge, retire if eligible, or request fitness determination by a physical evaluation board.

When the MRR process is completed, the assigned PRC is noted in the member’s medical record and the NOSC will update the member’s mobilization availability status code to reflect any restrictions. Members are required to submit medical documentation to their NOSC MDR for any new condition or for significant changes to an existing condition that might affect mobilization readiness or the ability to perform duties. If a member wishes to contest the assignment of a PRC, additional information may be submitted to PERS-95 via BUMED.
 

123go

Registered Member
#14
So if I'm PRC 5, I can resign or request a PEB according to MILPERSMAN 6110-020 and MILPERSMAN 1910-168.

So where does the MEB factor in?
 
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